In an emotional ceremony, the Point Yacht Club team of 2013 was awarded the most prestigious sailing trophy, the Lipton Cup on Sunday during the Commodores Luncheon.
The team led by Richard Weddell competed valiantly on the water offshore of Durban but narrowly finished the week-long regatta in 2013 which ended in a tie on points with False Bay Yacht Club boat. FBYC was awarded the trophy at that time on a point’s split. Findings late last year revealed that the winning team in 2013 had made illegal modifications to their boat. A rule 69 investigation then followed.
Rule 69 of sailing states that it is essential to the healthy development of the sport that appropriate penalties be imposed on competitors guilty of a gross breach of a rule or of good manners or sportsmanship, or who have brought the sport into disrepute. The skippers are still currently under investigation and may face further penalties.
With this knowledge, the historic cup was presented to the Point Yacht Club team by Dave Hudson, Trustee of the Lipton Cup after FBYC withdrew.
Olympian sailor, Alec Lanham-Love spoke about the roller coaster ride the jubilant team had been through, while misty eyed, he stated, “Yoh! This is an emotional day! I would like to belatedly say thank you to everybody who supported us.”
“We are just a bunch of friends, some old, some young, some fitter than others. Sailing binds us, we all have an eternal love for the ocean. We all have an eternal love for the winds. And through this shared love, a strong, everlasting friendship has grown. Four years after the Lipton, we regularly get together.”
“It is sad that this is happening, the adversity surrounding us being honoured with the title. We were the chosen team to represent PYC, and we did so with pride and respect. The ills of sailing today, not only locally but also internationally, where rules are broken needs to be halted. Our sailing organisation needs to stop this rot now. Had sailors not spoken out, we wouldn’t be here today!
Ending off, Lanham-Love said, “We compete because we love it, the simple joy of being out on the water.”
Presenting the cup to the official winning team, Hudson, an ex Durbanite now based down in Cape Town regaled tales of the fascinating history between Point Yacht Club and the most prestigious sailing event in the Southern Africa. He shared, “This team in front of me is truly a great team! I watched in awe at the campaign Vernon Goss started in 2010. I had the pleasure of witnessing first hand, these guys race four years ago, their first real chance to keep the cup and challenge in Durban. It is a bizarre situation that this is how you get the cup. It was an intense campaign, an intense race. You guys beat Greg Davies, Mr Lipton himself! In all honesty, a really well-deserved victory.”
“You haven’t won the race, if in winning the race you have lost the respect of your competitors,” this relevant and hard-hitting quote from Paul Elvstrom, the Commodore for the Point Yacht Club, Craig Millar stated in his address to a room full of onlookers. “It is unfortunately not in my nature to attempt to defend the indefensible or brush over the unacceptable, in order to be politically correct! Nowadays it has become less acceptable to speak about what is not right than the actual wrongdoing itself. I see this in our desperate fight to retain our beach site, I see it in our sister club’s attempts to take over our beach site, I see it in SAS’s lack of action against the clubs whose actions are damaging the PYC and I see it in in SAS’s failure to apply the basic rule of good sportsmanship!”
“Simple integrity is a necessary ingredient for a civil society to operate! Ladies and gentlemen, it is the return of integrity that we need in society. There could not be a more deserving team to win this trophy although, almost four years later. I wish to offer the heartfelt congratulations to the team on behalf of the PYC for your incredible achievement. You have won the cup!”
The man whose vision started the Choose Life High Performance Academy, the Honorary Life President for Point Yacht Club, Vernon Goss spoke of the exciting campaign that was ignited in 2010 by an up-and-coming sailor, Luke Wagner who was eager to make a challenge in the most renowned sailing trophy in the country. Goss proudly named each individual who made an impact on the 2013 result.
The victorious team of 2013 for the Point Yacht Club are Richard Weddell (Driver); Alec Lanham-Love (Spinnaker Trimmer and Strategy); Struan Campbell (Bowman); Byron Watt (Jib Trimmer) and Rudy McNeill (Pitman and Tactician). In support Dr Steve Mack (Psychologist) and Ronny Bear (Team Manager)
Weddell rounded up the afternoon by saying, “It is a surreal feeling, it has been a while. The Lipton is not just a week-long regatta, it takes months and months of preparation. It is an intense time! To this team, to this family, we did it!”
The next event for the Point Yacht Club is the 125th Anniversary celebrations at the club on 14 May.
For more info visit